Game Play: Conflict

When characters come into conflict, follow these steps:

  1. Each side adds a Core Value and a Profession together, then multiplies by a Capability to get a total.
  2. Declare goals and intended Complications or Advantages based on the difference in totals (see the table below). Every side involved should state their goal explicitly. This is a player-level statement – the characters may not realize each other’s true goals, or even that they are in a conflict at first.
  3. Describe the conflict, especially how the effects of the conflict occur.

The consequences of a conflict come in the form of Complications and Advantages. Unlike Complications accepted to gain Twists and fuel Theme Use, these Complications do not provide Twists, nor do the Advantages cost Twists.

Advantage Effect
x3 or more No contest. The loser is at the winner’s mercy, taking a critical Complication while the winner is unharmed.
Less than x3 Crushing. The winner takes a trivial Complication, and the loser suffers a critical Complication.
Less than x2 Decisive victory. The winner takes a minor Complication, while the loser suffers a major Complication.
Less than 50% Narrow victory. The winner takes a minor Complication, while the loser suffers a moderate Complication
Less than 10%  Stalemate. Both sides suffer a minor Complication.

You may decide to gain an Advantage rather than inflicting a Complication.


  • The GM may make simple adjustments to either side in a conflict by adding or subtracting up to two effective levels of Profession. Characters suffering under the effects of an existing Complication might also be penalized in appropriate ways.
  • Competitive Advantage adds +1 to Profession (regardless of whether the advantage is in Capability or Profession).
  • Subtle Conflicts, in which one side does not realize the fight is happening, penalize Capability by 1.
  • In conflicts involving multiple opponents, you are allowed to inflict Complications on each and every participant you face, based on the difference in your scores. Teamwork uses the table below, with modifiers applying to Profession.
Group Size Modifier
2 +1
3 – 10 +2
11 – 30 +3
31 – 100 +4
101 – 300 +5
>300 +6

In-Game and Out-Of-Game

You as a player will know that your character is in a conflict, even in the case of Subtle conflicts (see above). You should not use out-of-game knowledge to affect Conflicts, Basic Actions, or Projects except in the following case.

If the GM puts your character into a situation that would trigger the Rule of Force without even allowing for a Conflict, you are given an "instant death cutscene" in which you may activate Themes in order to save your character. You may likewise use Themes if you are in a conflict, but some events in SA are so sudden and deadly that this rule is required.


  • Characters with Nanotech 3+ can read Capability scores without effort, and characters with Metatech 3+ can do the same for Professions and Core Values. As a result, characters are likely to know their fate before engaging in a conflict.
  • If you choose to escalate a conflict, you must have an appropriate CV at 3 or higher. Spend a point of Reserve and worsen all Complications by one step (e.g. Minor to Moderate).
  • If the players choose conflicting goals, both must discard their current goal and choose a new one.
  • The Profession you use determines what sorts of Complications you can inflict and what sorts of Advantages you might gain.
  • Characters using external equipment (rather than built-in enhancements) to gain a Capability bonus typically split their score into an offensive side and a defensive side - one for inflicting Complications, and one for resisting them.
  • Complications resulting from conflicts do not get you Twists.
  • Additional rules apply to characters with Infrastructure.


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